Copa-copacabana, Bolivian side of Lake Titicaca

Trip Start Jan 20, 2010
Trip End Jun 16, 2010

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Where I stayed
Utama Hotel

Flag of Bolivia  ,
Wednesday, April 28, 2010

We first arrived at the shore of Lago Titicaca (Lake Titicaca) in the late evening and to reach Copacabana we had to cross one of the narrower parts of the Lake on a little ferry. This was a nice first sighting of the Lake, lit up by the Moon and Stars, on a little dinghy packed with tourists and locals alike.

The plan in the lakeside town was to do a day trip to Isla del Sol (Island of the Sun) and cross the Peruvian border the following evening to Puno. However, I and Tom spent the night and following morning being very sick at regular intervals so we instead spent the day in Copacabana. This turned out OK as we were able to spend some casual time by the shore of what is known as the "World's largest high altitude navigable lake". It is a slightly misleading title, as the lake is neither the world’s largest lake nor the world’s highest lake; it is the world’s highest lake that is also defined as “large”, but it is very impressive nevertheless and hard to believe it is only a lake!

That afternoon we also climbed the hill Cerro Calvario. The town itself is at 3800metres and we climbed to 3966 so, coupled with recent illness, we found it challenging but good preparation for the Salkantay trail to Machu Picchu we will do in a couple of weeks! The summit was well worth the hardship of climbing - we had some great, unobscured views of the whole lake and watched a spectacular sunset over the water.

We visited Isla del Sol the following day, arriving on a sandy beach which we weren’t expecting but gave a very pleasant first impression of the island, meagrely populated nowadays, but famous for being the creation site of the Sun God in Inca Mythology and we saw the temple that still remains (more or less) to honour this. We also walked from one end of the island to the other – more Salkantay Trail training – before taking the boat back to the mainland, stopping off at a very cool artificial floating island, made in the same style as Los Uros floating islands in our next stop, Puno, en route.

We left that same evening after dinner and crossed a very lax, slipshod Bolivian-Peruvian border into the town of Puno, home of Los Uros Floating Islands and from where we could visit Isla Taquile, the island of the Peruvian weavers!
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